Deptford Middle School received a visit from Gloucester County Commissioner Jim Jefferson on Jan. 11, when he spoke to classes taught by sixth grade civics teacher Dominique Mobley.
“I talked about the departments and my role as a commissioner,” Jefferson said. “I also explained the differences between municipal, county and federal government, since they (students) are really only exposed to national politics.
“I’ve done it (speaking to classes) a bunch of times over the years, and whenever I get invited, I make it a point to go.”
As commissioner, Jefferson oversees the county Department of Health and Human Services. That includes senior, disability, social and mental-health services, the Tolerance Project, the transportation advisory, the youth services commission, commissions for women, an addictions task force and parks and recreation.
“Each commissioner has their own department that they overlook, and we meet twice a month,” Jefferson explained.
“With over a decade of experience working within government, Jim has previously served as a constituent relations specialist and a special assistant to the New Jersey speaker of the general assembly,” the Gloucester County says.
“Working for then-Speaker Joseph J. Roberts Jr., he assisted residents and served as a liaison to the governor’s office; executive branch departments and agencies; and state, federal and local officials.”
Jefferson was appointed to the state parole board by former Gov. Jon Corzine in 2010, and he serves as an associate board member assigned to the Juvenile Panel. Along with his partner, he handles all parole matters for juveniles sentenced to the custody of the Juvenile Justice Commission.
Jefferson also helps establish state parole board policies within the Community Program Unit as chair of the Community Programs Committee. And he was reappointed to the parole board by former Gov. Chris Christie in 2016, according to the website.
Jefferson spoke to students in six class periods that Mobley teaches throughout the day at the middle school. The students were also able to ask questions about him and what he does as a county commissioner.
“It was great,” Jefferson noted. “The fun part was making it relatable for the students and just finding a way to talk about the government.”
Jefferson has also been present at recent township events, including the December tree lighting and the MLK Remembrance ceremony earlier this month. His wife Anne is a fifth-grade teacher at the township’s Shady Lane Elementary School.